This Day

TODAY’S VERSE
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalms 118:24, 29

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In most cases there is always a choice. Even if there is no other way out of a situation, you still can choose how you react to the inevitability of the event. Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Here we have a whole range of Godly reactions to our situation. Add to that list faith, hope and prayer and how else can we react than what the Psalmist suggests, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”? I know how hard life can be. I know there are difficulties, horrific situations and sometimes a seemingly hopeless situation, but God has made this day. This day. Today is yours. What you do with it may have human limitations, may have the deck stacked against it, but know this, nothing, nothing, nothing can take you out of the love that God has for you and you can rejoice and be glad in this day.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know I have a choice. Today I choose You. I choose to rejoice and be glad in this day. Give me this day my daily bread. Lead me this day and keep me from falling to temptation. Dear Father, this is a day You have made; with Your strength, I will rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Focus On Him

TODAY’S VERSE
Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Colossians 3:5-10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Just say no! Okay, maybe it’s not quite that easy. But you have to admit that the attitude you take into a situation helps shape the outcome. If we can read this list that Paul gives us and determine that with God’s strength we are going to say “No” before we get into a challenging situation, it will help. Paul uses phrases like “Have nothing to do with” and “get rid of.” This indicates that God expects us to take some initiative. What I like the best about today’s passage is the phrase, “Be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” So do we get victory over these sins because we focus on them and fight diligently to overcome or because we focus on God and try to be more like Him? Sure, it is some of each, but I really believe that a positive focus will always win over the negative. Try what Paul suggests: focus on God, get to know Him, let Him mold you more into His likeness and He will help you take care of any negative behavior. It’s like the old saying, “Love God and do as you please.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know I want to live a life that pleases You. I don’t want to be sexually immoral, evil or greedy. I don’t want to be angry or full of slander or dirty language. I don’t want to lie. Help me today to focus on You. Help me to know You, to love You, to commune with You and I will trust You with all the other behaviors. Help me be more like You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Tongue and Temper

TODAY’S VERSE
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
James 1:19, 26

TODAY’S THOUGHT
James doesn’t pull any punches. He knows how easy it is to pretend we are living for Christ. We have all the right outward behavior. We know the right phrases, go to the right programs, and do the right ministries. But James doesn’t talk about any of that. Instead, he gets right to the heart of Christianity. He says that we MUST be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. How different would this world be if all would heed what James has said? How many fights, feuds and even wars have been fought because people would not control their tongue or emotions? How worthless has our Christianity seemed to others because we did not allow James’ admonition to permeate our behavior? If Jesus would be Lord and Master of our life, then He must be Lord and Master of our tongue and temper. If this has been a weakness, confess it to Christ and ask for the help of His Holy Spirit. He will guide you. Today, might we give our emotions to Christ. When given an opportunity, might we be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how many times I have been so swift to speak and get angry. You how I have not listened to others the way I should. I confess my poor habits and ask, dear Lord Jesus, that You would forgive me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Give me the discipline I need today to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Do Good

TODAY’S VERSE
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is hard work doing good. It seems like there is always a shortcut, a reason to delay, an easier way. It is easier to complain than to fix something. It is easier to quit than to go the extra mile. We find ourselves asking, “If this is so good, why is it so hard?” Besides, there is no way you will ever get paid for all you are doing; most of the time your efforts will go unrewarded. And yet we do good because it is the right thing to do. It is His will; it is what Jesus would do. Nobody knew this more that the Apostle Paul. He pens these words for our encouragement, “Don’t get tired of doing good! You will reap a harvest of blessing, just don’t give up!” What good are you doing? What have you started but need to get back to? Are you discouraged? Do you feel like giving up? Talk to God about it today. Let Him know. Ask Him for strength and joy. Ask Him to give you a glimpse of the possibilities and then get back up and continue on. You will see the blessing if you don’t give up.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know where I am at. I need Your help. I need Your strength. I recommit myself today to doing the good that You have called me to do. Lord, I want to see the harvest of blessing. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Colossians 3:13

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Forgiveness is at the root of Christianity. It is the cornerstone of our beliefs. Christ came so we could be forgiven of all our sins. So is it any surprise that forgiveness is the basis of a healthy human existence? No one gets through life unscathed. All of us have to forgive someone at one time or another. And it can be very difficult. But we need to understand that the consequences of unforgiveness can be worse than the offense we need to forgive. Sickness, mental illness, stress, poor life choices can all be the result of a bitter, unforgiving spirit. Are you hurt, bitter, angry, gripped by the inability to forgive? Leanne Payne in her book Listening Prayer says, “We do not forgive evil. We hate evil. But we find the grace to forgive those in the grip of evil, those who did the evil against us.” According to Neil Anderson in his book Bondage Breaker, “Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened. Rather it is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s wrongdoing; it is acknowledging the hurt and hate.” When you submit your circumstance to the Lord, something deeply spiritual happens. God is able to suddenly help you see His deep love and forgiveness for you and His Holy Spirit gives you the ability to forgive, even when you don’t feel like it. He will help you make the choice to forgive. Set yourself free; choose to forgive today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgiving those that have hurt me is hard. Bring to my mind today those that I need to forgive. Then help me, by Your grace, to be honest about my hurt and hate and deliberately choose to forgive them, just as You deliberately died on the cross and forgave me. Set me free from the bondage of unforgiveness. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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No Condemnation

TODAY’S VERSE
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to forgive someone else, but it’s another to forgive ourself. How do we get rid of a guilty conscience? When we feel convicted, we repent, ask forgiveness and accept the forgiveness. At least that is how it is suppose to work. But for many, it doesn’t stop there. Instead, there is a nagging condemnation, an ugly worthlessness, a sense of hopelessness that we can never be loved, let alone forgiven. A shame that is so hard to overcome that our soul becomes numb. My friend let me assure you, God does not use shame. He does not condemn. Lift up your head; go ahead, lift up your head and look into the eyes of Jesus. You will see nothing but unconditional love for you. Hear these words of Paul today. Let them resound deep into your heart, breathe them in: “There is no condemnation for those that belong to Christ Jesus.” Know today that you are forgiven, you are loved. So forgive yourself, be healed, be free from any false guilt. Accept His unconditional love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I quit trying to earn Your love. I let go of all the thoughts, all the negative self images, all the nagging doubts and condemnation that is stopping me from accepting Your unconditional love. Fill me with Your forgiveness. Overwhelm me with the joy from knowing that You are not ashamed of me and that I am precious in Your sight. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Choices

TODAY’S VERSE
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:4-6

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many choices to make in life. How are we to integrate our faith into making major life decisions? First, we see in this passage, that we are to “trust in the Lord with all our heart.” This is more than head knowledge, it is experiential knowledge. This “knowing” has gone past our brain into our experience so that it finally resides in our inner being. It is not a “blind faith,” it is what the author of Hebrews calls “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” It is out of our relationship with God that we “seek His will in all we do” and God is faithful to lead us and show us which path to take. What is it that you need help with? What is it that you need to decide? Seek God’s help today. Pray over the issue at hand. Seek counsel, apply wisdom, pray much and then allow Him to guide you. Let Him work in your heart and mind. He promises He will.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, some decisions are so hard. I find myself so many times baffled at what to do. Situations where I have dug myself into a hole, consequences of other people’s sins, circumstances beyond my control – all of these have often left me rocking. Father, help me trust in You with all my heart today. Increase my faith. Impart Your wisdom to me and lead me in the way I should go. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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